displace vs preempt what difference

what is difference between displace and preempt



From Middle French desplacer (French: déplacer).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪsˈpleɪs/, /dɪzˈpleɪs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /dɪsˈpleɪs/
  • Rhymes: -eɪs


displace (third-person singular simple present displaces, present participle displacing, simple past and past participle displaced)

  1. To put out of place; to disarrange.
  2. To move something, or someone, especially to forcibly move people from their homeland.
  3. To supplant, or take the place of something or someone; to substitute.
  4. To replace, on account of being superior to or more suitable than that which is being replaced.
  5. (of a floating ship) To have a weight equal to that of the water displaced.
  6. (psychology) to repress

Derived terms

  • displacement
  • displacive
  • displaceable



Alternative forms

  • pre-empt
  • preëmpt


Back-formation from preemption.


preempt (third-person singular simple present preempts, present participle preempting, simple past and past participle preempted)

  1. (transitive) To appropriate something (before someone else does). (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 1913, R. L. Hill, Brood Sows and Their Litters: A Practical Book on how to Handle the Brood Sow and Her Litter. What to Feed, when to Feed and how to Feed. Also how to Care for the Litter, page 66:
      When they have preempted their ground [=their particular teat] they want to keep it, so you often see a fight, but see that there is only one claim made and then the old sow will not be disturbed. When once ranged they will always seek the same place.
    • 1980, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Balance the Federal Budget: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-sixth Congress, First Session […], page 582:
      […] the losers complaining that their party may see another popular issue preempted by what one of them called “born-again Democratic fiscal conservatives.”
  2. (transitive) To displace something, or take the place of something (by having higher precedence, etc). (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    • 2008, Shari Shattuck, Speak of the Devil, Penguin (→ISBN), page 5:
      Leah and Jenny’s friendship had happened upon them quickly because of a shared harrowing experience that had preempted the usual years of trust building .
    • 2011, David Fraser, And We Shall Shock Them: The British Army in the Second World War, A&C Black (→ISBN):
      A German move from the west had preempted them. By nightfall the whole Sidi Rezegh Ridge was in German occupation.
  3. (transitive) To prevent or beat to the punch, to forestall (something which was expected) by acting first.
    • 1985, Thomas M. Franck, Nation Against Nation: What Happened to the U.N. Dream and What the U.S. Can Do About It, Oxford University Press (→ISBN), page 35:
      By his statement, the Secretary-General had effectively preempted the usual frustrating debates over questions of fact and law.
    • 2011, Matt Hults, Anything Can be Dangerous, Books of the Dead Press:
      [] the knife when he passed it, managing to pull it from the doorframe, but Riverwind preempted his action and slammed the pistol-butt down on his wrist.
    • 2016, K. M. Daughters, Fill the Stadium, The Wild Rose Press Inc (→ISBN):
      She preempted his denial holding out a flat palm in his direction. “Do not play games with me, Mr. Cooper. Give me the notebook.” She advanced toward his …
    • 2017, Cynthia L Evetts, Suzanne M Peloquin, Mindful Crafts as Therapy: Engaging More Than Hands, F.A. Davis (→ISBN), page 7:
      The nurse’s attention to his room and skin temperature preempted his discomfort. Professional coldness prevailed. How differently might Beisser have felt …
  4. (transitive) To secure (land, etc.) by the right of preemption (right to purchase something before it is offered to others, e.g. land because one already occupies it).
  5. (bridge, intransitive) To make a preemptive bid at bridge.


  • (supersede sth): ninja (internet slang)

Derived terms

  • preemptive
  • preemptor
  • preemptory



preempt (plural preempts)

  1. (bridge) A preemptive bid.


  • perempt

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